I'm not gonna bore you with much B.S. I have attempted this story a few times now, twice on fictionpress here, and I have yet to succeed in making a good, flowing, coherent story, which angers me greatly. Maybe SOMEday I'll stop sucking. Until then, please bear with me. If you are a reader who has experienced take one or take two of this novel, I hope you can find this third attempt at least a little better or maybe good enough to hold your interest long enough that you stick with me.

So here goes. I present to you all, again, my little novel. By the way, there ARE drastic changes.

Element X

Chapter One

Ever since man can remember, there have existed special individuals with unique and powerful abilities. These individuals can control the blazing fires, the freezing ice, the raging winds, the terrifying lightning, the fearsome floods, and the ever-changing earth. The ability to create, manipulate, and control these Elements has been granted to only a small percentage of people. It's been speculated that only about one in every few thousand people acquire this ability.

These special beings are called Elementals, and they are feared, respected, and revered.

Some choose to use their strength for good. Others choose to do bad things. It's up to them.

A human achieves the power of an Elemental one of three ways. The first method is the only way that a human can completely be in control of the process, and that is to train and meditate for many years in the service to a temple. A monk can pray and train for their entire lives and still not be granted the power of an Element. The shortest amount of time ever recorded that a monk was able to become an Elemental was seven years, and that was a very long time ago.

The second method is simply explained through genetics. There were once many family lines of Elementals, where the ability to control an Element was passed to the next generation simply through birth. The circumstances are sometimes random, but the general principle is that, the longer the line is, the stronger the Elemental is. Currently, only a couple of the original family lines remain. When the next generation turns thirteen years old, they inherit the Element passed onto them.

The third method, which is the most dangerous way to acquire the power of an Elemental, is to come into extreme contact with the Element. This means the human involved would have to be touched or harmed so bad by the Element to the extent that it would under normal circumstances mean a certain death. Some examples would be a person drowning, or being struck by lightning. Even still, when this occurs, there is less than a one percent chance that the human will survive and be granted these powers.

Every Element is watched over by the Master Spirits, of which there are six: one for every Element. They are the ruling deities of the universe, and they preside over their particular Element. Since the beginning of time, they have been there.

Every one-thousand years, these Master Spirits choose an individual, a child, to be the strongest Elemental of their Element. There is one Chosen Master for every Element, and they are supreme in power and ability. What would take a hundred Elementals to do, a Chosen Master could do without breaking a sweat.

I am the Chosen Master of the Element of Fire, and this is my story.

When I was twelve years old, I lost everything that was precious to me. The only people I really cared about perished in the fires that burned down my home. No one knows what the cause of the fire was, exactly, except that it wasn't natural. The fire was evil, malicious. It stole away my life of peace and love.

That was ten years ago, and I still remember everything about my mother, father, and sister as though it were yesterday. I can still hear my older sister's scream for help inside the burning home. I can still remember the pain, and all the suffering that I've endured because of it. Most of all, however, I remember the events that followed, which set me on my path to becoming the man I am today.

My name is Jin Nasake, and my story is one of pain and misery, a story with few smiles and little to laugh about. It is a story of hope for some, destiny for more, and death for many. I don't know if there are any themes to it, or whether you'll be able to take anything from it. If you find something of value, by all means, take it with you and keep it close to your heart.

So listen to my story. It starts ten years ago, when I was just twelve years old.

A child boy with short, blonde hair, stood with horror-stricken eyes into the red and orange blaze that had engulfed his home. It was late at night, and the fire crews had been working for only a short time. His mother, his father, and his older sister hadn't come out yet. He was the only one, sitting standing there with a little black smudged on his face and fingers. He was fine, and they were not.

He hastily took off the blanket that covered his shoulders and tried to keep it covering his head as he took off into a run towards the front door of his house. He'd broken away so fast that no fire man or medic would be able to catch him. He was a fast runner, thanks to all the athletics programs he was in at his school. Without hesitating, he jumped towards the door and kicked it in, causing it to easily fall back off its hinges. He stumbled in, barely hearing the adults behind yelling for him to get back.

"Mother!" he shouted over the roaring fire. "Father!" He tried to squint through the smoke and flames, but it was everywhere, choking him. He had to move fast, that was for certain. He hastily walked as best as he could around the fire, a difficult task, because the fire was everywhere. The heat alone was causing his eyes to water… or was he crying?

"Adrianna!" he shouted. "Anyone!" He suddenly heard a scream from a distant part of the house. It sounded like his sister. "Adrianna?!" he called, running through one room and into another. As he passed by a ceiling pillar, it crumbled under the weight of the house because of its weakness due to the fire. He cursed as a chunk of wood fell onto him from behind, causing him to collapse to his knees. It hurt, but it didn't bother him. He vaguely noted that this must be what that whole "adrenaline" thing was as he quickly got back to his feet.

"Adrianna, I'm coming!" he shouted as he darted down the hallway towards his sister's bedroom. The flames were completely covering the ceiling and a lot of the walls. He even walked over numerous flames to get there. Just when he had almost got there, the floor under him fell through, and he tumbled into the hole down below to the bottom level.

Letting out a short scream, he reached out wildly, grasping at nothing but air and falling. He caught onto the ledge just barely, but the burned piece of wood he was holding onto soon split off of the floor, and he continued his decent down, falling flat on his back. He was stunned from the fall, unable to move for a few seconds. It had hurt a lot, and affected him more than that piece of debris that hit him earlier.

But he was in worse trouble now that before. He had fallen into nothing but a chamber of fire. He was completely surrounded, and the flames at his feet were starting to burn through his pajama pants. It was biting his flesh and tearing him apart. He was going to die here. There was no escape for him anymore.

"Help!" he screamed through the pain and heat. "Someone help me!" It was to no avail, however. No one could hear him anymore, and he knew it. The flames seemed to gather themselves around him and prepare for their attack, waiting for the moment. With one last cry from the child, the flames converged on him and engulfed him entirely.

A second later, Jin awoke to see nothing but a void of pitch blackness all around him. He wasn't sure if he was standing or floating in it. Up, down, left, and right was all black to him. It was dark, and it was very cold. He shivered and crossed his arms tightly. Was this a dream? Was the fire all a dream too? Just what the hell was this anyway?

Suddenly, to interrupt his thoughts, a small flicker of red light appeared in front of him, about ten feet away. It was tiny, a glittering, flickering light. As he walked towards it, however, the light seemed to grow larger, and he could feel a warm heat emanating off of it. It was comfortable, and by the time he had reached the light, he had his arms at his sides now. He looked at the light closely, examining it. It just floated effortlessly there at about chest height. Now that he looked at it closely, it looked like an orb of fire the size of a baseball.

He wasn't sure what to do, but for some reason – call it curiosity – he felt the urge to reach out and touch it. As he lifted his right hand towards it, its glow seemed to intensify, and the light continued to grow brighter and brighter. The reaction had startled him and caused him to retract his hand. Once again, the light faded to its state just a second ago. He tentatively reached up again with both hands, not surprised this time to see the light grow again, redder than before.

When he wrapped both his hands around the orb of light, he realized there was no physical texture to it at all. It was like trying to hold air, he thought. Almost immediately, though, he felt an immense warmth that surrounded him and then entered him. The light which he held in his hands lost its form as a sphere, and the red light started to flow into both hands, much to his surprised. He was afraid at first, but it felt pleasant. It felt great. It felt safe, so he trusted it. Somehow, he knew that this was supposed to happen, that this was right. Therefore, he watched with wide eyes as the light flowed up his arms and into his chest, soon expanding throughout his entire body. After only a few seconds, the light was no longer to be seen in his hands, and the light flowing through him faded. It was dark again, and he suddenly felt cold once more.

"What's going on?" he asked quietly. "What was that? Where am I?"

A man's voice replied soon, with evidently no entity to which it belonged, at least that he could see. "All your questions will be answered soon, Jin Nasake," it said. Jin whirled around once, looking for the source of the voice. He couldn't find it, or even pinpoint a general direction from which it came. "You won't find me that way, Jin," said the amused voice. "You will soon realize your fate, Jin. Now, though, it is time for you to wake up. You will be hearing from me soon. I promise you."

The blackness around him started to turn to grey, and the grey started getting lighter and light. The darkness was fading everywhere. "Wait," called Jin into the abyss. "Don't go. Not yet. What's going on?"

"I am not leaving you, Jin," said the same voice. "Time to wake up." Jin's environment had become astoundingly bright with white light. He squinted painfully against the light which blinded him, as he had only just become accustomed to the dark.

"Jin?" another man's voice asked. "Jin, are you awake?" Jin could feel his eyes adapting to the light, and he opened them as best as he could, and he took in a new scene around him.

It was apparent that he was lying down on his back, and that he was in a hospital bed. How in the hell had he gotten here? "What's going on?" he asked weakly, tilting his head enough to look properly at the doctor and apparently some female nurse or assistant. The man looked just like any doctor in a hospital should to him. He had the clipboard in his hands, the stethoscope around his neck, a pair of correctional glasses on, and the blue shirt and pants covered by a white lab coat.

"What am I doing here?" asked Jin quietly. "What's going on?"

"Jin, you've been asleep for almost three days," said the doctor, walking up to his bedside. "Can you remember what happened before you lost consciousness? Can you recall anything from the last time you were awake?"

The fire. Images like pictures appeared in front of his eyes as though he were back in his burning house. Jin brought his hands up to his face violently and placed them over his face, as if to hide the images, but he saw them even with his eyes closed. "Where's Mother?" he asked with wide eyes. "Where's Father, and Adrianna? Where are they?" His words were becoming shaky as he began to lose his breath and his ability to think coherently. He was entering shock, though he didn't know it. His body was becoming numb. "What happened to them?" he cried as his eyes began to sting with tears. "What happened to my family?!"

The doctor and nurse shared a quick glance to each other, and they both looked back at him with pity in their eyes. Jin was shivering as he sat crouched forward in his bed. His head jerked up to look at the doctor. "Where are they?" he asked.

"Jin, you need to calm down, please," said the doctor, placing his hands on both of Jin's shoulders.

"I want to see them," he cried. "Where are they?"

"Y-You can't, Jin," said the man sadly. "They're dead. You're the only survivor." Jin stared silently and motionless back into the doctor's eyes, his own eyes widened in horror. "It's a miracle even you survived, Jin," said the doctor. "Your family died in the fire."

Jin quietly leaned back away from the doctor, out of his loose grasp. His breath was still, and his eyes were wide opened still, with tears pouring from them down his cheeks. He was silent and motionless, looking forward at nothing but emptiness. "Mom… Dad… Sister…" he muttered, barely audible. "Dead…"

And so, I was an orphan, alone in the world, at the age of twelve. I was a child with no family. For the next couple of days, nothing was getting through to me. Doctors tried to talk to me, to get some sort of response from me, but I was numb, and I paid them no attention. I had lost my sanity for those couple of days, feeling nothing, whether it be physical or emotional.

It was a couple nights later that I snapped, while I was lying in my bed, back into real consciousness.

Jin once again found himself in the void of darkness, alone and cold, sitting with his knees drawn to his chest tightly. He sobbed endlessly, crying silently. "It's okay, Jin," said the low voice of the man he couldn't see. "It's okay to let it all out. Cry."

"Who are you?" asked Jin through his sobs. "Where are you, and why can't I see you?"

"You haven't figured out where my voice is coming from yet?" asked the man with a humorous tone. "My voice is coming from inside you. I am in you."

Jin looked up slowly, bringing his face up from his knees. "Why are you bothering me? What are you?"

"I am the light in your heart and soul," came the reply. "I am the heat and warmth burning inside you. You met me just a couple days ago… right here, inside your dream."

"So this is a dream?" asked Jin.

"Yes," he replied. "…and no."

"I don't like riddles," said Jin impatiently. "Who are you, and why have you come to me?" There was a soft chuckle from the man. However, Jin knew it wasn't harsh or demeaning. He knew this man wasn't laughing at him. Everything about this man's tone told Jin that he was wise, kind, patient, and loving. Whoever this disembodied voice was, he knew he was a compassionate, good person.

"You would like to see me?" asked the voice. "Alright then." Jin's body started to shimmer and glow with an aura that surrounded him. The light then leaked away from him and took form in front of him. Standing proudly and strongly before him was a man of decent stature with fiery red hair spiked backwards neatly. His ornate, elegant vest was worn open to show off his strong body, and his massive, baggy white pants flowed neatly to his light shoes with pointed toes. All around him was an aura or red and orange light with glittering sparkles, like he was surrounded by a horde of fireflies. "Is it easier for you, with me in this form?" he asked with a kind smile.

The smile was comforting and gentle, and served only to reinforce Jin's initial thoughts that this man was nothing but kind and benevolent, fair and justified. Jin stood up properly and looked at the man's red eyes. He didn't know anyone with red eyes, and whenever he had seen them in movies or read about them in books, they rarely belonged to a good person. But once again, the eyes were gentle and caring, and very deep.

"I am no one who intends to bring you harm, Jin Nasake," said the man soothingly. "I am a person who wants to help you. Might you be able to guess who I am?" Jin shook his head slowly. The man sighed. "That's okay. My name is Kasai. I have no last name. I am the Element of Fire."

"You're Kasai?" asked Jin, wiping the tears from his eyes as they widened in shock and understanding. "The Master of Fire?"

"Well, it's good to see you recognize the name," laughed Kasai. "I was beginning to fear that the schools weren't keeping you kids up to speed with your history and religion. As I have said, I am Kasai, the Master of the Element of Fire. I am he who has complete dominion over that Element, the one who watches over it. My colleagues, as I guess you could call them, see to the other Elements."

"What do you want with me?" asked Jin. "Why are you here?"

"You've been given the gift, Jin," said Kasai with a smile. "As I do with many, I am passing my ability to manipulate the flames to you. You are aware of Elementals and their ability to control and use, to certain extents, a particular Element?"

Jin nodded. "That power has been given to you, Jin Nasake," Kasai said. "Furthermore, not only will you be an Elemental of Fire, but also you will be the Chosen Master Elemental of Fire."

"The what?" asked Jin. He was being given more information than he could absorb in such a short amount of time.

"Once every one-thousand years, Jin, six children inherit not only the ability to use an Element as an Elemental, but the ability to excel far past any normal Elemental. You will have control over the Element of Fire like no one else. Your strength will be far greater than any other Elemental using Fire. There will be one such as yourself for every Element, including Ice, Water, Lightning, Earth, Wind, and of course Fire."

"And that's going to be me?!" asked Jin, shocked at the very thought of it. "I don't come from any family lines or anything. I'm too young to even enter any monasteries or temples for this sort of thing."

"You're forgetting the third method through which an Elemental attains his powers, Jin," said Kasai solemnly. "To come in extreme contact with an Element, usually to the point that it will kill you, carries with it the chance that you don't die and instead receive the power to use that Element."

"The fire… at my home," said Jin. "That's what this is all about?! This is what I get for my family dying like that?"

"Jin, what happened at your house can't be undone, and I am sorry that it had to happen to a youngster such as yourself. Losing family must be very painful, I'm sure, at such a young age, but because of it, you now have this power, whether you want it or not. It has been given to you, and you may do with it what you please.

"It will be a hard path for you, I know, but I'm sure that you will become a great man," continued Kasai. "You will grow up to be a wonderful person who uses his power for the good of mankind. I know you have it in you to do what is right with these abilities handed to you."

"How am I supposed to know what to do?" asked Jin. He was confused and afraid. He didn't want something like this. His life was bad enough as it was, and he didn't need this to add any more chaos to it. "What am I going to do?"

"You'll think of something," said Kasai with a smile, walking up to him and placing his open hand on Jin's head. "You'll grow up just fine, Jin. I know you will. You just have to believe in yourself and follow the light in your heart." He lightly jabbed his finger at Jin's chest. "The light will be in you always, and all you need to do is follow it. You'll know what to do when the time is right, so follow that light."

Kasai began to fade, dissipating into the red and orange light once again, and it was all sucked into Jin's body like the first time. He felt the familiar warmth and strength as he glowed brightly for a moment. The feeling then faded as the light did, and he was left alone, cold, afraid.

"It's only a matter of finding the light within you, Jin," said Kasai. Jin brought his hand up in front of his heart, holding it close to his chest, and he closed his eyes. He could see the glow in the darkness, brightly shining. When he opened his eyes, he could see and feel the warm light surrounding him. Bringing his hand away, he opened it and a small fire appeared in his palm. "The fire will always be in you, as will I, so do not fear."

Jin woke up the next morning and was much more responsive than he had been the days before. The doctor was pleased to see that he was doing much better than he had been previously, and with his health apparently fine, it was evident he would soon be ready for release to a government funded orphanage or foster home.

One thing that had everyone surprised and amazed was Jin's incredible health. When he was pulled from the building's ashes and flames, he had no burns on him at all, and his health had been fine, for the most part, for his entire stay in the hospital, except for his coma-like period of unconsciousness.

"Doctor Uzumi," called the female nurse that Jin had seen upon waking up the first time in the hospital. The man turned around to face the young lady.

"What is it?" he asked. "Something the matter?" The nurse looked down at a few papers she held in her hand and back up to the Doctor. "Is something wrong, Alice?"

"It's about h-his physical, Doctor Uzumi," she said quietly. The man smiled and closed his eyes, nodding once. "Something is unnatural about it."

"I know, Alice," Doctor Uzumi said nicely. "It's that he's an Elemental, correct?" Jin looked up at him, shocked that he was able to find out, and then to Alice. He was afraid. They'd already figured it out. How? Was that sort of thing easily detectable with medical machinery?

"You knew?" asked Alice, just as shocked it seemed. "I just got the physical report."

"There's nothing to worry about here Alice," Uzumi chuckled. "Right Jin?" Jin didn't reply. Doctor Uzumi ruffled his hair with a smile. "My dad was and is an Elemental, as was one of my cousins, so I'm a bit familiar with them. I would be able to recognize one after having one in my care for a few days." He looked down at Jin warmly. "How a child such as yourself is already showing the signs of an Elemental is beyond me. You just turned twelve, right?"

Jin nodded. "It must've been the fire then," Doctor Uzumi said with a nod of his head. "You're too young to have inherited it, as the age of acquiring your power in such a case is thirteen, and you're far too young to be in any religious institution, so the only solution is that you got it from the fire."

"I'm the Elemental of Fire," said Jin quietly. For some reason, not saying that he was the Chosen Master Elemental of Fire just seemed like a good idea. It sounded like something that would draw unnecessary attention to himself. "It's because of the fire." Jin had a far off, entranced look in his eyes. Once again, he was seeing still images of the fire in his home. Memories of it continued to repeat in his mind, though he closed his eyes tightly and tried to shut them out. They kept coming, however. "It's because of their deaths."

The doctor looked with sympathy on the child. He'd be released into the care of a Foster Home, most likely, tomorrow. He had no doubt that the Foster Home, whoever it was, would care for the child properly and give him the best, but the boy had lost everything dear to him, his whole family. Nothing could replace that. "It's gonna be okay, Jin," said Uzumi, placing his hand on the blonde boy's shoulder. "It's… going to be okay."

By the next day, Jin had been placed into a new environment, a Foster Home, under the care of a woman in her late forties. There was already someone there being sheltered, a sixteen-year old girl Jin soon became friendly with. He had learned soon after entering the home that there was a boy that lived there also, but he had been adopted into a family only a week before.

The woman who took care of them was very kind and motherly, doing her best to love and cherish a child like a mother would. It didn't surprise Jin when he learned from Julia, the other girl, that she had been a mother herself, if for even only a couple months. Her infant daughter had died suddenly of some sort of sickness. Jin didn't know all the details, and he didn't need to. It must've been tough to lose a child.

Julia was a beautiful sixteen-year old girl in the middle of her sophomore year in high school. Since her early years in school, she was known for excelling in all ranges of academics, as well as athletically. She was a friendly person that almost everyone liked, and almost everyone envied, despite that she lived under the care of a Foster Home. Because of her looks and charm, just about any guy wanted her to be theirs, but she remained single vigilantly for some reason.

Jin was enrolled in the local public middle school, a few blocks' walk from Julia's high school. Due to his recently acquired quiet nature, he had barely any acquaintances and no friends whatsoever. Though he was typically picked on or bullied a little, he was fortunate enough that he never got it too bad and that he hadn't gotten beaten up on. The teachers tried to help him out as much as they could, perfectly aware of his recent strife and loss of family. Still, however, he continued to remain quiet, and he kept to himself almost constantly. He walked to school with Julia in the morning, silently took his class notes all day, ate lunch alone, and then he walked home with Julia at the end of the day.

It had been only about a month since Jin had transferred to the Foster Home and new school, and Jin quietly walked the two blocks from his school to Julia's, his hands in his pockets, his eyes glued to the pavement. All the other kids at his school had been picked up by their families, or gone off to practice for their sports teams. What would he be doing now if he still had his family? He smiled to himself as he remembered first his big sister, whom he practically adored. She would've probably been picking him up from school and treating him to whatever treat or snack he wanted from the local ice cream and candy store. His bigger sister Adrianna was his best friend, and although he loved his mother and father just as much and though they were the best parents he could've ever wanted, she was just different.

His memories were interrupted by some conversation nearby, which appeared to be escalating into a frenzy, based on the tones of peoples' voice continuing to rise. "How come you haven't answered yet?" asked a male's voice. "I asked you a week ago."

"I have answered, Lee, and my answer was 'no'." That was Julia's voice. Jin stopped in his tracks by the front doors of the school. The voices were coming from the side of the building where he couldn't see. She must've used the back exit again. She did that every now and then…

"Well, that wasn't the answer I was looking for," answered 'Lee', sounding a bit miffed at her response and stubbornness. "You haven't dated anyone, and you're already sixteen. You've never once been to our dances with a partner. You should go with me."

Their footsteps stopped. "Lee, I don't ever intend to date, at least not in the near future. It's nothing personal. I just don't want that sort of thing right now." She was getting upset, and apparently, so was Lee.

"That's bull shit," Jin heard him say.

"Well, stew in your depression on someone else's time," said Julia, resuming her steps. "Jin is probably waiting for me or on his way here."

"Jin?" asked Lee. "Who the fuck is Jin? Oh, the brat you live with."

"Yeah," said Julia heatedly. "Does that make you jealous? Please talk a little more civilly." Julia turned the corner and came out front as she finished talking, and Jin smiled from the front door. She returned the smile as Lee came up behind her with an infuriated look on his face, grabbing her wrist from behind.

"How dare you talk to me like that?!" he spat furiously, spinning her back towards him and swiftly backhanding her across the face. The blow didn't even fully connect. Apparently, Julia's athleticism was enough that she avoided most of the contact, but she still stumbled backwards to the ground. Jin quickly jumped over the railing of the steps and landed next to her.

"Julia!" he yelled as he crouched down next to her. "Julia, are you okay?" Julia looked past him at Lee with angry eyes. She wasn't even crying. Jin quickly turned around and faced Lee, now noticing an apparent friend of Lee standing with crossed arms just behind his left shoulder.

"Son of a Bitch!" Jin screamed as he rose up and ran head on at Lee, fists clenched and ready to fight. He hurled himself at Lee, but the other guy, a slightly shorter person but with impressive muscles to boot, stepped in front and grabbed Jin's fist with one of his hands.

"Jin!" screamed Julia as the boy was haphazardly tossed aside. "Jin, stay away."

"Do as the little lady says, brat," said Lee. "Though I have no doubts that I could injure you severely, my muscle rests behind Kira's here. He's this school's karate club's best, and he's got a lot of titles under him, so perhaps you should think twice about your predicament before you rush into a stupid fight."

"Leave him alone, Lee," said Julia angrily. "He's just a kid!"

Kira walked up to Jin as the boy got up off the ground and examined a large cut he'd acquired from the ground on his right shoulder. "You're already bleeding," said Kira with a chuckle. Jin squared himself facing Kira and tightened his fists, raising them to fight. "Well then, you'll still tangle with me?" He took a look over at Lee, who smiled and nodded, as if to say "go ahead." "Alright then," replied Kira. "You were warned. Nothing against you kid. I just do what big brother says."

Lee rushed forward and thrust out with one punch, which Jin caught in one hand, much like he had done to Jin earlier, and much to everyone's surprise. Kira punched Jin in the stomach with his other hand, a move Jin wasn't able to stop. The hit brought him to his knees, choking on air momentarily, clutching his gut. "Please stay down, little kid."

Jin reached up and clutched Kira's pants leg, using it to pull himself up as an aid as he once again stood straight. "Stop it!" shouted Julia, running up to Lee and grabbing his arm. "Call him off, Lee!"

"Go out with me," replied Lee.

"Don't you dare," spat Jin. Kira punched him hard across the face. The impact caused him to fall sideways, but he stayed standing,

"Jin, don't be stupid," cried Julia, starting to rush forward to him. However, Lee grabbed her arm and wouldn't let go. "Stop it!" she yelled. "Let go. You're hurting him!"

"He has to deal with this pain," said Lee. "It's a lesson he has to learn with pain."

"Pain?" asked Jin, grinning. "This pain is nothing compared to what I've been through." Kira and Lee looked at him suspiciously, and thought they saw, for a fleeting moment, Jin's eyes flicker bright red. "I'll say it only once. Unhand Julia. Now."

"This kid has to be joking around now," said Lee with a laugh to Kira. "We'll have to tack on further punishment for your arrogance, brat." Kira nodded and swung with his fist at Jin's face again.

Jin's head moved to the side ever so slightly enough to completely dodge the first punch. Kira's second punch came at his stomach again, and Jin knocked it aside with one of his hands. Causing Kira to stumble to the side. "What the hell?" he asked. Jin's eyes flashed red and he growled.

"I warned you," he mocked. He brought his knee up into the gut of Kira, powerfully knocking all traces of air out of his lungs and causing his body to hover limply in the air for a split second. That split second was all the time Jin needed to apply a spinning roundhouse kick, sending him flying past Lee and to the ground, hard.

Lee looked shocked for a moment, looking at his partner, sprawled out unconscious on the ground nearby. Where both hits had landed on his body were scorch marks on his skin. Something had burned through his clothes and singed the skin even. He looked terrified back at Jin, who had already walked up to him.

Before he could protest any, Jin swiftly attacked his arm at a pressure point, causing Lee to let go of Julia and stumble back. Jin stepped in front of Julia and continued his assault, first dodging a frantic punch and knocking it aside with one hand while blasting a heat-packed punch under his arm and into his ribcage. Jin found it satisfying to feel the ribs crack under his force. Lee grunted in pain, again falling backwards. However, Jin grabbed him by the collar and threw him over his shoulder to the ground, where he landed hard on his back, knocking him out.

Jin stood with his hands tightly balled into fists, breathing heavily. "Jin?" asked Julia from behind him. He suddenly snapped out of it, and his eyes reverted to their normal blue. He turned around and smiled back at her.

"I warned them," he said, still breathing hard. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to do anything bad. I couldn't –

"Thank you, Jin," said Julia, hugging him. "Thank you for defending me."

"Am I going to get in trouble?" asked Jin as Julia pulled away. Julia shook her head, and they both looked at the pathetic people sprawled out on the ground. "What do we do with them?"

"Leave them here," said Julia as she turned on her heel, grabbed Jin's hand, and began to walk. "Come on. Let's go get some ice cream. My treat. Pick your favorite, because you can have whatever you want."

Jin beamed up at her with a wide grin.

"Now that's the most joy I've ever seen on your face," laughed Julia as they walked along the sidewalk.

"Just like Adrianna," he thought. The memories of his big sister didn't bring forward any pain or sadness, but instead, he felt only warmth and love and happiness.

Chapter One End

So, there's Chapter One, and shortly, I will be uploading Chapter Two. I think I'm going to post chapters of this length on a weekly basis, like maybe do it every monday or something like that. I might surprise you all frequently with an update in between mondays, but weekly sounds good for chapters of this length. So, if you liked it, review it. If you didn't, yell at me please.

Or join the hordes of people who just DON'T review. That'd be awesome.